My parents ran the village shop and Post Office in a rural community. We did stock a very wide range of goods, but this was more than just an emporium – it was the centre of village life. We had a coke-burning stove and in the winter the farmers would come and warm their hands on the chimney pipe. There were so many ‘characters’ – those who would come several times a day and buy just one item each time; those who would come just before closing time and engage one of my parents in conversation; those who would ignore the shop hours totally and come to our back door!
This all seemed very unfair to me, but the response I got was always the same – to be grateful to these people because their money put the food on my plate. It seemed as though my parents lived in fear of offending (and more particularly my brother and I offending) a customer. What appeared to me to be grave injustices were swept under the carpet of duty and inevitability.
On the rare occasions when I was allowed to go to other people’s houses my parents’ parting words would be, “don’t make a nuisance of yourself and remember to say thank you for having me.” On my return the first question was, “did you make a nuisance of yourself?”… and sometimes “did you have a nice time?!”
This was so confusing. Couldn’t they see what a glorious little girl I was, so full of fun? In later years I came to question whether in fact they knew how glorious they were. I don’t think they ever realised how loved they were: I can distinctly remember longing to tell them that as a child, part of me bemused that adults who were supposed to know everything, didn’t know that.
Many years later when my mother had to go for radiotherapy treatments following a cancer operation, she refused in-patient care and went on the bus every day. She didn’t ask anyone for help… she didn’t want to be a nuisance! The villagers would have been horrified if they knew, after all the care and compassion they had received from my parents over the years.
However in later life I found that they were just repeating their own parents’ pattern and making sure that my brother and I were well trained in the life formula to put everyone else first… and not to be a nuisance. Obviously that is what they thought worked.
So I went through life assiduously applying the formula, and being nice. My calculations to assess the nuisance quotient when I was asked my preference would include:
- What others might want to do
- What costs were involved
- How much time it would take
- What would it then stop others from doing?
I spent most of my working life putting the client first, going the extra mile, sometimes working through the night. Adrenal exhaustion finally caught up with me and I could no longer work. I told very few people – well, I didn’t want to be a nuisance!
And then my body shouted a little louder – I got cancer. Again I told few people, but a dear friend I did tell suggested that I meet up with Serge Benhayon.
He asked me to consider how much I valued and loved myself, and through the Esoteric Practitioners and fellow students I was offered huge support to explore the answer and change my choices. That is what I have been doing since.
It has been (and is) such a journey to undo the ‘nice-ness’ that I had embodied so well, to open up to the love that is there inside me and what that means in everyday life.
Thanks to Universal Medicine and the inspiration and support of fellow students I am beginning to accept that I have a unique contribution to make to the huge jigsaw that is humanity.
If I hold back then the puzzle can never be finished. If I try to make myself as others, the puzzle will never be complete. Suppose I am the key piece that makes sense of the other parts and when I am truly being me others can see where their piece of the puzzle fits? If I don’t, then there will be a hole.
So that would really make me a nuisance, when I am not being all of the me that I can be!
by Kathie Johnson, Leamington Spa, UK